Tomorrow marks 25 years since the mass shooting at Columbine High School. On April 20, 1999, the nation was paralyzed as broadcasters captured the scene: kids escaping through windows and carried out on stretchers. All told, two students murdered 12 classmates and a teacher. 

The death toll has since been eclipsed by subsequent school shootings: Virginia Tech, Sandy Hook, Uvalde. But Columbine sticks in the American consciousness because it signaled that gun violence had become a serious threat to children in places that otherwise had little crime — white, upper-middle-class communities like Littleton, Colorado. Since then, guns have proliferated in every corner of American public life.

The Columbine shooting is where Long Lead and PRX’s new podcast, “Long Shadow: In Guns We Trust,” produced in partnership with The Trace, begins, as it marks the country’s introduction to the scourge of school shootings.

But for the massacre’s survivors, every day is April 20, 1999. Survivors like Frank DeAngelis, the school’s then-principal, who starts each day by reciting the names of the victims: Cassie Bernall. Stephen Curnow. Corey DePooter. Kelly Fleming. Matt Kechter. Daniel Mauser. Danny Rohrbough. Dave Sanders. Isaiah Shoels. Rachel Scott. John Tomlin. Lauren Townsend. Kyle Velasquez.

From The Trace

Guns Are as Old as America — But So Are Gun Laws

The second episode of “Long Shadow: In Guns We Trust” explains how the National Rifle Association seized on the Second Amendment to change the course of history.

Cities, States, and Now Grieving Families Are Taking Ghost Gun Makers to Court

Polymer80, the nation’s largest manufacturer of controversial ghost-gun kits, has been sued by a victim’s parents on the heels of settling lawsuits with three cities.

NRA Foundation Agrees to Reform to Settle D.C. Case

Following a corruption trial in New York, the gun group’s charitable arm will implement oversight and transparency measures to resolve allegations that it diverted millions of dollars in donor funds.

Buffalo Saw an ‘Unheard Of’ Drop in Gun Violence Last Year. What’s Behind the Success?

Community leaders say it’s not attributable to a single initiative, but rather a tapestry of collaborative, mostly grassroots efforts.

Most Veterans Own a Gun — and Many Keep It Loaded

A new study examines how trauma, relationships, and hometown affect firearms ownership among veterans.

What to Know This Week 

According to a new survey of Americans, people who purchased firearms over the past four years or regularly carry their weapon in public were more supportive of political violence than other gun owners — and more willing to engage in it. [JAMA Network Open/The Guardian

A new study yielded a surprising finding: A moderate-to-high exposure to gun homicide in youth is associated with a stated goal of graduating from college. [Journal of Early Adolescence]

Use of Connecticut’s risk protection order law, commonly known as a “red flag” law, continues to vary dramatically between police departments, even after lawmakers expanded the circumstances in which an order can be issued. [The Connecticut Mirror]

Crime data from the city of Milwaukee finds that homicides are down nearly 50 percent compared to two years ago. City officials cite the effectiveness of community outreach programs. [Wisconsin Public Radio]

Law enforcement leaders in Chicago unveiled a new crime prevention initiative in partnership with the ATF that will use cutting-edge technology to analyze gun violence in real time. [ABC 7 Chicago] Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, the District Attorney’s Office launched a Prolific Gun Offenders Unit that will prosecute offenses related to ghost guns, straw purchasers, and illegal possession. [NBC Philadelphia

A Texas resident filed a libel lawsuit against a group of right-wing media organizations, including Fox News and Newsmax, after they misidentified him as the perpetrator of a mass shooting at a Dallas-area outlet mall last year. [Rolling Stone/HuffPost]

In Memoriam 

Jezreel Aquilla Poleate, 24, was “so outspoken and funny, always cracking jokes,” a childhood friend said. “There was never a dull moment.” Poleate, the sole fatality of a mass shooting that wounded 11 other people outside a New Orleans nightclub on Sunday, balanced multiple bartending and service jobs with church, family, and friends. She was standing in line, waiting to get into the club, when gunfire erupted. Her mother said Poleate was “was loving, friendly, fashionable, and she never met a stranger.” Her father lamented: “I thought, one day, I’d be able to walk her down the aisle and give her away to some young man. That hurts. There will be no grandchildren.” Poleate is also survived by three brothers and her Shih Tzu, Dolce Gabbana.

We Recommend

The grim legacy of Columbine after 25 years

“Columbine catalyzed a seismic shift in how schools, communities, and law enforcement respond to the threat of mass shootings. It spurred a multi-billion-dollar school security industry and instilled a generation with the protocol to ‘run, hide, fight.’ But our fortification of schools, unproven surveillance technologies, and ‘good guys with guns’ have not stopped school shootings nor even slowed them down.” [The Denver Post]

Pull Quote

“If you’re taking a gun out of someone’s hand, you have to put something in it.”

— Dina Thompson, executive director of the Erie County Restorative Justice Coalition, on the need for gun violence diversion programs, to The Trace